Whoopie!

Whoopie Fingers

I do believe this is the most randomly-inspired manicure I have ever attempted.  Behold, my polished tribute to the fluorescent green, purple and periwinkle skirted formal jumpsuit Whoopie Goldberg wore to the 1993 Oscars!  There were also matching shoes.  Random, of course, because that’s actually a pretty accurate description for the “Genie goes black tie” dress she wore (a photo of which you can see here, courtesy of Us Weekly) and also because, well, Whoopie Goldberg?  Or, more accurately, a single dress worn by Whoopie Goldberg over 20 years ago?  Although I must say, cracked out Genie look notwithstanding, the colours in her embroidered jumpsuit (did I mention the jumpsuit part was embroidered?) and duster overlay were stunning, and she looked gorgeous.  Whoopie should garb herself in manic jewel tones all the time, methinks.  Just like my nails!

Whoopie Hand

It Takes Allsorts

Allsorts Hand

Licorice Allsorts, that is!  So I’m not really sure how attractive these licorice-inspired nails are.  Cute though they may be, they’re not exactly cohesive, are they?  I do love the two textured polishes I used on my middle and pinkie fingers to mimic the look of those bumpy-looking pink and blue guys.  I, of course, can’t speak to the taste of licorice at all, because I hate the stuff, but from a design perspective, it’s pretty sweet! 😉

And on my thumb I’ve got two coats of the first indie polish I ever bought – and the perfect addition to this sweet manicure – Candy Lacquer’s Licorice Allsorts.

Allsorts Bottle

Get Comfy: A Mini Lush Review

The Electric Comforter Collage

I was staring down at this newly acquired bottle of The Comforter shower cream from Lush yesterday when I realized that it is the exact (and exactly perfect) gilded raspberry shade as one of my all time favourite nail polishes, Picture Polish’s Electric Dream. Seemed as good a time as any to co-ordinate my mani to my bath, and take a closer look at both of these fantastic beauty products in the process.

I’ve gone on record as to my abhorrence of that Lush smell, a too, too TOO much combo of every single one of their scents, that wafts out of their stores and kicks you in the face like Ronda Rousey if she were made entirely of patchouli, star anise and tonka bean. It’s what kept me from even entering a Lush store for nearly two decades, that godforsaken smell.

But over on Instagram, a bunch of the nails-and-Lush-and-makeup-and-cats-and-Disney people I follow were going wild for Lush’s recently released holiday items, including some adorable, multi-coloured bath bombs called Luxury Puds that I’m told will make me mistake my bath for a glittery, rainbow-swirled hot spring fit for a unicorn. So I gave in to the non-existent peer pressure and placed a small, safe, experimental order for a handful of bath bombs, tossing in a 100 ml bottle of The Comforter shower cream almost as an afterthought.

And I’m so very glad I did, because The Comforter, one of Lush’s marquis, always-on-offer products, is WONDERFUL. In danger of becoming one of those things I obsess about, even. A rich, golden shimmer-packed shower cream, The Comforter is described on its label as “a cuddle in a bottle with cassis absolute and bergamot oil.” I actually think its name, which evokes cuddly snuggles, is ill-suited to its fresh, almost vegetable-y scent. It’s a mild, softly sweet, gently spiced (but not spicy) fragrance that could not be further from all the usual, super cloying berry scents (makes sense, as currants don’t really have much of a fragrance, do they?) I love it, I love it, I love it, and not just because it smells divine – it also lathered up beautifully and left my sensitive Celtic hide soft and smooth. Plus, like many (but not all) of Lush’s products, The Comforter is vegan – ethical beauty and relaxation at its finest.

Comfy Bottle

And what of the rich, raspberry red colour? Perfection, and a nearly perfect dupe of Picture Polish’s Electric Dream, an all time Finger Candy favourite. Unlike The Comforter, Electric Dream really lives up to its name, applying like a polished dream and drying down to a beautiful eggshell finish – all the better to admire that rich, golden-tinged hue. One of only a handful of polishes in my collection that I’d wear simply as a polish, straight up, no chaser.

The Comforter Fingers

Price-wise, Lush (and indeed, Picture Polish) will always be on the higher end of the spectrum. I was rather shocked at the price of a few items ($9 for a single use bath bomb that I guarantee you will dye the bottom of my tub – and quite possibly my own bottom – bright turquoise?) And this 100 ml bottle of The Comforter (that’s a little less than 3.5 ounces)? $10. Making this one Comforter I’ll only be covering myself in every so often, on special occasions…like Tuesday.

Depending on where you are in the world, Lush’s products are available either in-store or online. Seek out the sage advice of Google, and whether you’re in the States, the UK, Japan or Canada, there will be a Lush to suit your needs. I purchased my goodies via Lush.ca. My package arrived four days after I placed my order (it would have been three, save for some postal silliness on my end), nicely packed and bearing very little of that Lush smell (I let my items air out on the diningroom table for a bit regardless, which took care of any lingering smell.) All around, this was a great experience with Lush, and I look forward to remaining Comforted, at least, for many, many more baths to come.

Guacamonut!

Guacamonut Hand

Mmm, avocado and donuts – together at last!

About five years ago I loved a short-lived television show by the name of The Good Guys. Starring Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks, it was an hour-long buddy cop comedy about two totally mismatched detectives, Hanks’ Jack Bailey, a young, eager, idealistic go-getter, and Whitford’s Dan Stark, an elaborately mustachioed 1980s throwback still riding high on the glory (and job security) of having once foiled a plot to kidnap the governor’s son. Dan’s so retro, he has virtually no regard for modern day annoyances such as paperwork, “smarty phones” or proper police procedure, and so despite actually being a great detective, he’s relegated to the minor cases (stolen humidifiers, dine-n-dashes) where he can’t screw things up too badly. Except he always does, and somehow, his simple little cases always devolve into major incidents, incidents that require the intervention of his more level-headed partner, his partner who in turn gets sucked into Dan’s craziness and wanton disregard for the very laws he’s sworn to uphold (in keeping with the retro vibe of the show, reckless, destructive car chases feature prominently.)

Dan’s also the kind of guy who swears by old school, in-the-car cop chow – the messier and more grease-soaked, the better. The man’s clearly got an odd relationship to food (when he’s sick, he eats nothing but Cool Ranch Doritos, because the “dust” cleans out his blocked nasal passages, and he was once suspended after opening a mayonnaise jar with his service revolver), although I think my favourite foodie invention of his has to be the guacamonut, which is exactly what you think it is – a cinnamon-dusted donut dunked in spicy guacamole. And while I can’t speak to how a guacamonut might actually taste (horrible, I’m assuming – not everything should be spread on a donut), I can definitely comment on how cute these guacamonut-inspired nails are! Although it’s taking every ounce of my willpower not to slap some sweet, sweet ‘stashes on those little avocados. Dan would so approve.

Sadly, The Good Guys has never been made available for (legal) download or purchase, which is a shame. It’s cute and clever, and Colin Hanks and Bradley Whitford have phenomenal buddy cop chemistry. I was disappointed when it was cancelled after just one incomplete season, but obviously its inspiration lives on.

Guacamonut Fingers

Style Over Substance: A MoYou Stamping Plates Review

4MoYouPlates

I purchased these four MoYou London stamping plates from Daily Charme a few months back in a fit of summertime pique – I had been on a tear of complicated, free-handed nail art, and I imagined my first real foray into stamping would lighten the lazy load a bit. I was also looking forward to stretching my stamping legs – it’s a nail art technique I don’t attempt very often. And when the plates are as beautiful as these four, the results are just bound to be gorgeous, right?

Wrong. Allll the wrongs. It began with the Festive Collection plate. It would not transfer any of the designs to two different stampers, with a multitude of polishes. In between frustrated attempts, I tried my gear out with a previously-used stamping plate from another manufacturer and had no problems getting the design to adhere. After taking a closer look at the plate, it appeared as though the engraved design (an absolutely gorgeous allover one, so intricate in its festive detailing) was simply too shallow to allow for proper design transfer.

Festive Plate

I contacted Daily Charme with my concerns, and they were really wonderful – offered me a full refund if I chose, despite the fact that I had already peeled the protective film off two of the plates. But I really didn’t want to choose – I very much wanted to keep the plates, even in a non-functional capacity (I was initially going to frame the Fairytale and Festive Collection plates, a plan it appears I am going to have to once again revisit.) Daily Charme also offered up a number of helpful tips on the technique of stamping itself, which I put into immediate good use, eeking out three whole nails’ worth of designs from three different plates. Already tired of the fuss, that seemed good enough for me.

Earlier this week, though, I got the idea for a kind of decorative tin roof-type manicure, one I thought would be made appreciably easier by stamping on one of the stained glass designs from the Gothic plate. I think you can guess how it went. As in it didn’t. I couldn’t get a single design to adhere to either of my stampers, using four different polishes. It took me half an hour of messy, acetone-splashed frustration to net absolutely nothing. I could have free-handed the design in that amount of time.

Gothic Plate

I don’t know what the ultimate problem is with these MoYou plates – Did Daily Charme receive a terrible, poorly-etched batch? Is that even possible across four different collections? – or even if the problem is indeed the plates. I mean, I suppose it’s possible my stamping skills are completely deficient – other nail artists seem to think MoYou’s offerings are pretty awesome. But at the risk of sounding full of it, I’m not half bad at this nail art stuff, and I’ve had pretty great results with other stamping plates.

And so with Daily Charme’s generously-offered refund surely no longer on the table all these months later, I’m going to have to press these plates into action as decorative items instead. And they’ll look fantastic, of course (gosh, the unicorn-drawn carriage on the Fairytale plate is stupendous) but that’s somewhat besides the point. Ultimately, it’s tremendously irksome to have paid for something that could not carry out its most basic function. I’m lucky in that I’ve found a good secondary use for these plates, but really, why did I need to find a silver lining in the first place? A regrettable experience with style over substance.

Fairytale Plate

A Perfectly Polished Distraction

Posies Hand

When the world is going to hell in a handcart, sometimes it helps, even for just one silly moment, to stare at something pink (and black, and white) and pretty. Too fleeting and too insubstantial, but on evenings like this, I think we all have to just take it one moment at a time. Be safe, international friends and readers.

Posies Fingers

Mad for Madras

Madras Hand

In high school I owned a pair of pastel, plaid, old man golf pants that were about four sizes too big for me. I bought them at a secondhand store that specialized in such fashionable inanities (that particular store was also where I purchased a number of long, sweeping broomstick skirts – man, they looked so great with a pair of Docs – a lumpy, but gorgeous, Fair Isle sweater for $5 and a pair of leather wrist cuffs for my future husband and I that actually turned out to be bondage wear.) Paired with my very favourite t-shirt, a khaki green Third Rail tee with a giant black star on the chest – you might have also seen it on Michael Stipe in R.E.M.’s What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? video if you’re old like me and remember either R.E.M. or music videos – it made for quite the fetching ensemble. Really, though, one of my all time favourite outfits – I loved both those pants and that t-shirt INTENSELY, even though I looked like a cracked out grandpa (ESPECIALLY if I paired the above with a pair of Birkenstocks!)

These madras plaid-inspired nails remind me of those pants. Okay, so this plaid might be a touch vibrant – my golf pants were firmly in Easter egg territory – but heavens, is it close! Time to note – or is it that apparent? – that putting together a fashionable ensemble has never really been my thing? 🙂

Madras Fingers

This Marbled Mani Rocks!

Marbled Hand

My friend WonderfulWolf did some very cool geode-type nails today, which in turn inspired me to rock out with my mani out – emphasis on the “rock.” 😉 This pretty and ever so simple marbled manicure makes great use of the cling wrap technique, to which I added fine gold filaments, like precious, glittering gems trapped in the stone. Rock on!

Marbled Fingers

Lumpy Space

Lumpy Space

Oh my glob, looks like it’s time for another Adventure Time manicure, this one a nail art design heavily influenced AND inspired by Sarah Waite of Chalkboard Nails. Lumpy Space, for the uninformed, is the pastel cloud-covered kingdom of the Lumpy Space Princess, a giant purple blob with a speech impediment and a raging diva attitude. She’s one of something like 50-odd (VERY odd) sovereigns in Adventure Time, and her fluffy cloud kingdom (think Care-a-Lot, but dark, and with a heavy emphasis on purple) is pretty spectacular.

So spectacular, actually, that back in June of 2014 Sarah did an awesome Lumpy Space manicure, and one I’ve admired right from the get-go. Perhaps it’s the not-so-basic background of dark purple and magenta dots, or maybe it’s the bright pastels of the lush, plush clouds, or perhaps it’s the matte finish, but whatever “it” is, I just love this manicure, and so I decided to finally recreate it, Finger Candy-style. Not a bad likeness either, although I think I prefer the colours Sarah used – a little closer to the original.

Frozen Fractals

Frozen Fractals Fingers

As Queen Elsa herself might sing.

It’s been an odd week. Without getting into all the sad details, my grandmother passed away last weekend, and this week has been dominated by all of what I call the “administrative tasks” of closing the door on a life well lived. Because you’re all such nice people, I’ll thank you for your kind condolences in advance, but rest somewhat assured that her passing does not fall into the realm of a bad thing – she lived a full 92 years and suffered unduly at the end; she needed this rest, and she more than earned it.

But the upshot in my world is that all week long, I’ve been plagued by this kind of lingering malaise – like a hangover, just without the benefit of having had anything deliciously alcoholic to drink in the first place (although I did have a mango-chili margarita this week, and it was splendid.) Although, after a full week of receptions and reception preparation and visitations and trips to the family cemetery out in the middle of rural nowhere and feeling ALL the feelings all day long, I’d be surprised if I weren’t feeling more than a little twitchy.

But I haven’t painted my nails in days (no time, even though my grandmother definitely would have approved) and I wanted my first foray back into the Land of the Painted to be something super easy and eye-catchingly flashy – no sad nails around here. And so I layered two coats of Enchanted Polish’s neon orchid holo, Dope Jam, with two careful coats of Enchanted’s Freeze Machine, a glitter topper stuffed with shards, squares and hexes of blue and purple iridescent glitter. I think that Freeze Machine looks a bit like the early morning frost on a windshield, and I love the way its iridescent glitter plays off against the vibrant purple of Dope Jam, lighting up like a little polished LEDs. Definitely no sad nails here.